Can Ashwin and Chahal negate CSK’s home advantage?

Big picture – Can Royals conquer Chepauk too?

On most days, playing at Chepauk gives Chennai Super Kings a distinct advantage, but Rajasthan Royals have the resources to neutralise their home advantage.

After a stutter in a close game against Punjab Kings, Royals have resumed regular service, beating Delhi Capitals comprehensively to go with the thrashing they handed Sunrisers Hyderabad. Their batters have posted 190-plus totals in all three games this season, and Trent Boult has delivered two double-wicket new-ball maiden overs, but perhaps their biggest trump card if Chennai’s conditions play true to type will be their spin attack of Yuzvendra Chahal and homeboy R Ashwin, the highest wicket-taker at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in IPL history.

But with MS Dhoni leading their pack, Super Kings will not fret. No team has better home numbers than them (they’ve won 41 of their 57 home games in the IPL, which is nearly 72%) and their win against Mumbai Indians showed their batting possesses the dynamism to take on the best. Their concern remains their struggling seam bowlers, but with Ravindra Jadeja and Mitchell Santner at their tidy best, and with the Sri Lankan Maheesh Theekshana possibly returning to their XI, they have a spin attack that can control games in favourable conditions.

IPL 2023 form guide

Chennai Super Kings WWL (most recent first)
Rajasthan Royals WLW

Team news – CSK have plenty to think about

Deepak Chahar’s hamstring injury will keep him out. Ben Stokes, who missed the game against Mumbai with a toe injury, is set to miss out on Wednesday too, with Jadeja saying in a pre-match press conference that the allrounder would be fit in 4-5 days.

Theekshana is a tempting option, but Super Kings would have to bench one of the South African seamers or Santner to play him, or continue keeping Moeen Ali out. Ajinkya Rahane will be tough to drop after his 27-ball 61 against Mumbai.

Royals have no major injury concerns or selection headaches.

Impact Player strategy

Chennai Super Kings
Rahane’s blazing start to the season gives Super Kings flexibility now. Batting first, they can name three overseas players initially and bring in Theekshana or Sisanda Magala in the second innings as the Impact Player. Batting second, they are better off starting with experienced overseas bowlers and swapping out an Indian seamer for Ambati Rayudu or Rahane later.

Probable bat-first XI: 1 Devon Conway, 2 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 3 Ajinkya Rahane/Moeen Ali, 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 Shivam Dube, 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 Dwaine Pretorius, 8 MS Dhoni (capt, wk), 9 Mitchell Santner, 10 Maheesh Theekshana/Simarjeet Singh, 11 Tushar Deshpande.

Probable bowl-first XI: 1 Devon Conway, 2 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 3 Ajinkya Rahane/Moeen Ali, 4 Shivam Dube, 5 Ravindra Jadeja, 6 Dwaine Pretorius, 7 MS Dhoni (capt, wk), 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Sisanda Magala/Maheesh Theekshana, 10 Simarjeet Singh, 11 Tushar Deshpande.

Rajasthan Royals
An Indian seamer or Dhruv Jurel are the favourites to be the Impact Players, depending on the toss result.

Probable bat-first XI: 1 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 2 Jos Buttler, 3 Sanju Samson (capt, wk), 4 Riyan Parag, 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Dhruv Jurel, 7 Jason Holder, 8 R Ashwin, 9 M Ashwin, 10 Trent Boult, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal.

Probable bowl-first XI: 1 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 2 Jos Buttler, 3 Sanju Samson (capt, wk), 4 Riyan Parag, 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Jason Holder, 7 R Ashwin, 8 M Ashwin, 9 Trent Boult, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Sandeep Sharma/KM Asif.

Stats that matter – Boult vs Gaikwad, Buttler vs CSK spinners could be key battles

  • It may be harsh, but should Rahane be left out? He has poor strike-rates against Sandeep (92.20), R Ashwin (116.66), Chahal (107.69) and Boult (97.22), losing his wicket a combined 12 times to the four bowlers in T20s.
  • The two top powerplay batting units of IPL 2023 face off. Royals have a run-rate of 11.66 and score 52.5 runs on average per wicket in the first six overs. Super Kings have corresponding numbers of 11.00 and 66.00.
  • The Conway-Gaikwad partnership has been a bit hit-or-miss: they have three century stands so far, as well as five single-digit stands.
  • Boult has been in red-hot form with the new ball, and he might look forward to bowling to Gaikwad. The Super Kings opener has been out 11 times in 19 IPL innings to that style of bowling.
  • Buttler has struggled against both Santner (26 runs in 24 balls) and Theekshana (19 runs in 25 balls) in T20s. Moeen, meanwhile, has dismissed him three times in seven innings, while only conceding 46 runs in 39 balls.
  • No team has successfully defended a sub-190 total in IPL 2023.

Pitch and conditions

It is likely to cool down at night but the day-time heat could dry out the pitch and get it to offer more turn. There is expected to be about 60% humidity and 10% chance of rain.

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx

Source link

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Skip to content